Salomé’s biblical story has been one of much intrigue, the daughter of Herod II and Herodias, a memorable request made by her, one that has inspired man a retelling, her story referenced throughout art, literature and drama. Adapted by Oscar Wilde in 1896, the one act tragedy includes the depiction of the heroine’s dance of the seven veils as well as her shocking request. Presenting a regendered interpretation of the tale, Lazarus Theatre Company craft a 75 minute spectacle, filmed earlier on this year at the Southwark Playhouse and now available to catch on demand.
A timely spin placed on the classic, Lazarus’ production creatively places the poetic words of Salomé, a typically female played role and observes them via the lense of a male – although a bold choice, carries a subtlety with it, a quiet challenging of masculinity and what this means which is thoughtful. Sorcha Corcoran‘s production’s white, catwalk staging entrances, the design choice a beautiful nod to a now alternative realm established, one occupied by nobles, gods and other worlds. An integral feature throughout, Lazarus’ slick convention of integrating set changes into the action is a much welcomed one, the ensemble transforming the set piece from an outdoor walkway, to a lavish dinner, to ultimately a dramatic death bed, the set itself quietly narrating the production’s narrative arc.
Ricky Dukes directs a sustained production brimming with intensity. The show’s audio captioning encouraging accessibility and allowing for viewers to really appreciate Wilde’s rich elemental, beastial, godly poetic language. Fred Thomas endears as Salomé, a modern day classical hero played with a softness and subtlety, Pauline Babula‘s Herodias and Jamie O’Neill‘s King Herod are both ruthless in ambition, Omi Mantri‘s Young Soldier and George Ray-Turner‘s Guard of Herodias are both gallant and Prince Plockey‘s Jokanaan commands and mesmerises with his prophetic visions. A beautifully staged and filmed watch!
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
To find out more about Salomé, visit here…
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